Mr. Wirtel, I think that lady may have been Jane Goodall. And I agree with you about venturing into the territory of wild creatures slowly and consistently. Since humans don't look or smell like birds or fish, it's obvious to them we're not competitors, but we might be predators. In the case of chimpanzees and gorillas, I suspect the concern is to make sure they realize we're not competitors.
You response about birds brings to mind just how dumb birds are, hence the term"Bird Brain". Then I have to wonder if fish are not even dumber, except when I have a rod and reel in my hands, then they are brilliant. I guess my point is, wild creatures will often accept interlopers into their areas, so long as it is done slowly, quietly and consistantly. I remember reading of a lady who studied apes and she would often venture into their sphere of influence, but never dressed as an ape. It seems to me she wrote that it was important for her safety that they apes knew she was not one of them.
Thanks, Mr Wirtel. I don't totally understand the idea of fish-like robots interacting with real fish, either, although I've read the explanations by researchers. But don't be too quick to assume fish would not be fooled by a robot fish. Birds have been fooled by robotic birds, assuming their movement was realistic enough.
Ann, that was a very fine article with some fascinating photos. I do not understand the need to design fishlike robots so they will interact with living creatures. People have been interacting with fish for years, from diving bells, shark cages, diving suits, scuba gear, and similar things. None of which resemble the species being studied. Surely a fish would not be fooled into a relationship by a a silicon fish shaped robot.
I agree, Greg. Although FlipperBot is a pure R&D project and aimed more at biosciences than engineering applications, it will be interesting to see how much further the locomotive concept is developed.
Thanks for that interesting input, bobjengr. There are tons of nautical ROVs, and some AUVs, made specifically for oil & gas applications, usually for use in conjunction with divers instead of to replace them. If your sister-in-law's sister's husband isn't using these already, he probably will be soon.
Ann--excellent post. My sister-in-law has a sister whose husband works as a diver in the Gulf of Mexico. His job is to inspect and repair, when necessary, "Texas Towers". In talking with him on several occasions, the risks involved are significant and very dependent upon weather conditions and water turbulence in the Gulf. They were extremely busy as a result of the BP spill. Every tower within a certain radius of the spill had to be inspected. I have sent him this link. It's very timely and very informative. It's amazing to me the marvelous uses robotic systems have found and the work they are doing. Great post.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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